While new streaming services launch left and right, T-Mobile is pulling the plug on TVision, its 5-month-old attempt to retain customers with a $10 per month streaming service, Claire Atkinson reported. Key points:
Its demise shows the challenges of the virtual pay TV services model that has struggled to find a profitable business.
These services historically haven’t offered much of a deal for would-be cord cutters. TVision was troubled from the start, the programming costing far more than it was charging.
In the streaming wars, T-Mobile’s loss is a win for YouTube TV and Philo, which it’s offering its customers instead.
Just as things are starting to look up with more people getting vaccinated and offices planning for reopening comes news of layoffs at a handful of digital media darlings, Steven Perlberg reported.
This may have surprised people who may have thought the blood-letting was over after last spring when advertisers hit the breaks, leaving many ad-dependent media companies to cut costs.
But the challenges these companies faced aren’t new:
Vice Media and HuffPost, along with other VC-backed media companies, have struggled to reach their backers’ expectations. HuffPost was just acquired, a move that’s usually followed by layoffs as merged companies look to cut duplicative costs.
Mel Magazine, an arm of Dollar Shave Club, was known for its distinctive men’s lifestyle coverage. But as a brand-backed publication that didn’t have any ad revenue coming in, its financial purpose was unclear.
And Medium, which also announced cuts, has changed its approach to content countless times over the years, shifting from an ad- to subscription-driven model. This time it was to scale back its own publications that it started just a few years earlier.
Subscriptions and advertising support many news outlets very well, of course. These companies didn’t have enough of either, or their execution was flawed.
Some digital media companies could get a lifeline by going public through SPACs. But the underlying business challenges they face aren’t likely to go away.
Zimmerman Advertising and its founder Jordan Zimmerman bear all the trappings of success, with billions in revenue and clients like McDonald’s and Nissan.
But some employees said they experienced micromanaging, misogyny, and racism at the Omnicom-owned agency, Lindsay Rittenhouse reports.
From her story:
In April, Zimmerman Advertising – an Omnicom-owned ad agency in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, known for its work with clients like McDonald’s – laid off a batch of employees in the pandemic. That day, the founder and chairman Jordan Zimmerman addressed the remaining staff on a call.
Three people on the call said Zimmerman told employees that, while they were spared, they would need to work “two and a half times harder” or he would replace them with the laid-off employees who had “begged” for their jobs.
Fast-forward to this March, when some employees accused the agency of pressuring them to go back to the office, regardless of whether they had been vaccinated or had high-risk family members. In some cases, employees said management threatened layoffs if they didn’t return.